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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 6:19 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.0- California & 1.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 8/29 thru Sun 9/4

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Tiny South Swell Still Hitting CA
Better New Zealand Swell Pushing Northeast

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

On Tuesday, August 30, 2016 :

  • Buoy 146 (Lanai): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 11.2 secs from 188 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 15.2 secs from 191 degrees. Wind southeast 4-6 kts. Water temperature 68.5 degs. At Santa Barbara swell was 2.2 ft @ 6.1 secs from 255 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.6 secs from 200 degrees. Southward from Orange County to San Diego swell was 1.8 ft @ 15.7 secs from 177 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 15.1 secs from 203 degrees. Wind northwest 14-16 kts. Water temp 60.6 degs.

    Buoy 46059, Hi-res Buoys

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (8/30) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at maybe knee high and almost chopped from northwest winds and not rideable. At Santa Cruz small background southern hemi swell was producing surf in the chest high range on the bigger sets and clean. In Southern California up north surf was in the waist high range and clean but weak. Down south southern hemi swell was producing set waves in the shoulder high.cgius range and clean but a little swamped by tide. Further down south top spots had set waves in the head high range on the peak and clean but weak. Hawaii's North Shore was thigh high at best and clean and weak. The South Shore was small with sets waist to high and clean at top breaks. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist high and chopped.

See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.

Meteorological Overview
Small New Zealand swell was in the water in California on Tuesday (8/30) with a new somewhat longer period swell building originating from a tiny gale that developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Sun-Mon (8/22) with 32 ft seas aimed northeast. In additional another swell is tracking northeast from a gale that developed under New Zealand on Sun-Mon (8/29) with seas to 36 ft. That system is forecast to redevelop while tracking east on Tues-Wed (8/31) still producing with 30-32 ft seas aimed east-northeast. It looks like more small swell is to result. In the North Pacific no swell producing fetch has occurred with no swell in the water and none is forecast. Typhoon Lionrock in the far West Pacific produced winds and seas continuously Thurs-Mon (8/29) with seas 30-40 ft aimed east-northeast but isolated to the far West Pacific (just south of Japan). Some small swell to result. And Hurricane Lester was tracking west from a point 1200 nmiles east of Hawaii with winds 110 kts and hurricane Madeline was 450 nmiles east of Hawaii with winds 115 kts also tracking west. Otherwise no normal Fall-like swell producing weather systems are forecast in the Dateline-Aleutian corridor.


Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (8/30) no swell is in-flight and none is expected for the next 72 hours. But a broad area of low pressure is to be developing over the Northern Dateline region on Thurs (9/1) at 996 mbs generating only 20-25 kt west winds in pockets south of the Aleutians. No swell is to result but this lows presence suggests the start of transition towards Fall.

The California coastal pressure gradient on Tues (8/30) was limited to a small area over Pt Conception producing north winds at 25 kts over a tiny area. Over the next 72 hours the gradient is forecast to fade Wed (8/31) while lifting north into Thurs (9/1) with 20 kt north winds in patches over North and Central CA, fading on Fri (9/2) to 15-20 kts and falling back over only Central CA. Little to no real windswell generation potential is expected.

For Hawaii on Tues (8/30) trades were no of concern but a pair of tropical systems were moving within close proximity of the Islands. Over the next 72 hours the focus is to be entirely on the tropical systems (see Tropical Update below).


  North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height


Tropical Update
Typhoon Lionrock was 450 nmiles south of Southwestern Japan on Thurs AM (8/25) at 23.7N 131E (5,281 nmiles out on the 298.5 degree path) with winds 110 kts and starting to move east-northeast with seas 31 ft. On Fri (8/26) winds fell to 90 kts with Lionrock starting to accelerate to the east-northeast with seas down to 28 ft. But on Sat AM (8/27) strengthening had again set in with winds building to 105 kts at 24.5N 134.7E with seas 35 ft building in the evening to 110 kts with 38 ft seas at 26N 136.6E. On Sunday AM (8/28) winds were up to 115 kts with 442 ft seas at 28.5N 138.9E (4768 nmiles on the 298 degs to NCal). On Mon AM (8/29) this system was accelerating to the north-northeast 150 nmiles east of Central Japan with winds 70 kts and seas 26 ft at 32.7N 143.4E turning to the north in the evening with swell producing fetch fading out. Given it's relative strength and heading and weak forward motion Thursday through Sunday some small swell could be generated in this window. But it has a long ways to travel and the fetch area is small. Assuming swell is to result, arrival time with period 16 secs would be 8.8 days, or Sat 2 AM (9/3) continuing through Mon (9/5). Odds very low of any measurable/rideable swell to result.

NCal: Swell to become noticeable on Sun (9/4) at 2.4 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.0 ft) later. Swell continues on Mon (9/5) at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3 ft) dropping Tues (9/6) from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 295-298 degrees


Hurricane Lester peaked on Sat PM (8/27) with winds 95 kts positioned 1000 nmiles south of Pt Conception or 2100 nmiles east of Hawaii tracking due west. On Sun AM (8/28) winds were down to 80 kts still heading west. Lester rebuilt on Mon (8/29) peaking again in the evening with winds up to 120 kts and seas 48 ft at 18.1N 131.2W 1600 nmiles east of the Big Islands on the 90 degree track. On Tues AM (8/30) winds were down to 105 kts with seas 39 ft at 18.1N 133.8W. Lester is forecast to continue on a westerly track with winds fading slowly. By Fri AM (9/2) Lester is to be 400 nmiles east of the Big Island with winds 75 kts and slightly lifting to the west-northwest. Latest forecast data suggests Lester is to be 150 nmiles north of the Big Island Saturday afternoon (9/3) with winds 60-65 kts (tropical storm force) and accelerating on that track, positioned 110 nmiles north of Oahu on Sun AM (9/4) with winds 60 kts. There remains much uncertainty regarding strength and heading at this date but it seems some degree of swell is likely for at least the Big Island and possibly north shores of the other islands.

Big Island (East Shore): Swell arrival on Thurs (9/1) at 4 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.5 ft). Swell heading upwards on Fri (9/2) 5 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.5 ft). Swell building on Sat (9/3) peaking late at 8.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (11 ft). Swell Direction: 90 degrees turning to 75 degrees

Oahu (East Shore): Swell arrival on Thurs (9/1) at 3 ft @ 14-15 secs (4 ft). Swell fading some on Fri (9/2) at 2.9 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell starts building in earnest on Sat (9/3) to 8 ft @ 14 secs late (10 ft). Swell peaks Sun (9/4) at 10.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (12-13 ft) mid AM. A quick fade to follow. Swell Direction: 80 degrees


Tropical Storm Madeline was between Lester and 800 nmiles east of the Big Island on Sun AM (8/28) tracking northwest with winds 45 kts and forecast to strengthen and turn on a more westerly course. Peak winds occurred Mon PM (8/29) 520 nmiles east of the Big Island at 110 kts on a west-northwest heading with seas 42 ft at 18.7N 145.9W. On Tues AM (8/30) Madeline was tracking west positioned 470 nmiles east of the Big Island with winds 105 kts producing seas of 32 ft at 19.3N 147.8W. Madeline is to continue west if not west-southwest moving to within 100 nmiles of the eastern tip of the Big Island on Wed PM (8/31) with winds 80 kts but winds reaching far north of there as the hurricane forms a gradient with high pressure to it's north, putting swell in the window of the east shores of Maui, Oahu and Kauai. Madeline is to pass 30 nmiles south of the Big Island on Thurs AM (9/1) with winds 75 kts then accelerating to the west while loosing wind speed. Local east windswell is to be produced as this system pushes south of the island chain accompanied by ground swell produced when it was further out at sea.

Big Island: Swell building starting Tues afternoon (8/30) building to 7 ft @ 14-15 secs (10 ft). Swell building through Wed (8/31) peaking at 10 ft @ 12-13 secs near sunset (10-11 ft). Swell fading Thurs AM (9/1) from 8 ft @ 9-10 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 80-90 degrees

Oahu (East Shore): Swell arrival on Wed (8/31) building to 5 ft @ 13 secs late (6.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs AM from 6 ft @ 11 secs (6.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 90 degrees


California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (8/30) high pressure was 1100 nmiles north of Hawaii ridging east into Central CA but being held at bay somewhat by weak low pressure falling down the coast of British Columbia. The result was a southward di.cgiaced pressure gradient generating 15 kt winds for much of North and Central CA building to 20-25 kts in the immediate vicinity of Pt Conception. The gradient to weaken more on Wed (8/31) as the low falls further south with north winds 15 kts from North CA southward and only up to 20 kts near Pt Conception. The low is to weaken on Thurs (9/1) with the gradient and northwest winds lifting northward to Pt Arena at 20 kts extending down through Central CA and continuing on Fri (9/2). North winds to continue Sat (9/3) at 20 kts for all of Central and North CA then fading some on Sun (9/4) to 15-20 kts. On Mon (9/5) high pressure is to be ridging well into Oregon with the gradient redeveloping over North CA with north winds 25+ kts there with an eddy flow (south winds) starting to develop over Central CA. The gradient is to fall slightly south on Tues (9/6) to Pt Arena with north winds 20-25 kts with the eddy flow trying to hang on over Central CA.


South Pacific

On Tuesday AM (8/30) the northern branch of the jet was equal in strength to the southern brach and was running west to east on the 35S latitude line with two pockets of winds to 120 kts over the Central and East South Pacific. The more important southern branch was lifting northeast slightly under and southeast of New Zealand almost forming a trough with west winds 120 kts offering some support for gale formation there in lower levels of the atmosphere. But east of there at 150W the jet was falling southeast over Antarctic Ice forming a ridge and locking down the rest of the South Pacific and actively suppressing gale formation. Over the next 72 hours the trough under New Zealand is to push east into Wed AM (8/31) moving into the Central Pacific (160W) with 120 kt winds feeding it offering decent support for gale formation and pushing east and fading with winds down to 110 kts late. Support for gale formation fading and by Friday the trough is to be gone. Beyond 72 hours a ridge is to develop in the West Pacific pushing the jet down to 68S at 90 kts suppressing gale development and sweeping east and strengthening into Monday (9/5). No support for gale development is expected. By Tues (9/6) there's some suggestion of a new trough trying to build under New Zealand with winds pushing north at 110 kts. Limited support for low pressure southeast of New Zealand the likely outcome.

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (8/30) tiny swell from a gale that developed under New Zealand on Thurs (8/18) was still pushing into California (see New Zealand Gale below). Also tiny swell was hitting from a gale that developed on the edge of the California in the Southeast Pacific on Mon (8/22) (see Small Southeast Pacific Gale). And now swell is pushing northeast from a gale that was tracking from New Zealand to the Central South Pacific (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Tues PM (8/30) a second part to the New Zealand Gale is to form. A new broad fetch of 40 kt west winds is to build south of New Zealand with seas on the increase from 30 ft under New Zealand at 59S 178E. On Wed AM (8/31) a broad fetch of 40 kt southwest winds are to be in.cgiay generating 32 ft sea at 56S 175W (208 degs NCal and shadowed, 209 degs SCal and barely unshadowed by Tahiti, 190 degs HI and aimed well east of the paths there). In the evening 35 kt southwest winds to be fading with seas 32 ft over a broad area aimed northeast at 49S 155W (201 degs NCal and unshadowed by Tahiti, 204 degs SCal and unshadowed by Tahiti, 185 degs HI). Fetch is to fading in coverage from 30-35 kts Thurs AM (9/1) with 29-30 ft seas at 49S 153W, then fading. More swell is likely for Hawaii, California and down into South America.


New Zealand Gale
A gale tracked under New Zealand on Thurs AM (8/18) producing a modest area of 45 kt west winds with a small area of 30 ft seas indicated at 60S 172E aimed east (210 degs NCal and barely unshadowed by Tahiti, 211 degs SCal and shadowed, 193 degs HI). Fetch faded from 40 kt from the southwest in the evening with seas 30 ft at 60S 176W. On Fri AM (8/19) southwest fetch faded from 35 kts with seas fading from 29 ft at 58S 164W. There's some odds of small 16-17 sec period swell resulting for Tahiti, Hawaii and CA.

South California: On Tues (8/30) swell fading from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 208-211 degrees

North CA: On Tues (8/30) swell fading from 1.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 207-210 degrees


Small Southeast Pacific Gale
A tiny storm developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Sun PM (8/21) producing 45 kt southwest winds over a tiny area with seas building from 30 ft at 51S 128W. On Mon AM (8/22) southwest winds to be fading from 40 kts over a small area with seas 32 ft at 49S 120W. Fetch was fading from 35 kts in the evening and positioned well east of the California swell window with seas fading from 28 ft at 46S 114W targeting only Chile. Some small swell might result for California but most size was targeting Central America down into Chile.

South California: Swell continues on Tues (8/30) building to 1.6 ft @ 16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell continue on Wed (8/31) at up to 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell gone on Thurs (9/1). Swell Direction: 185 degrees

North CA: Small swell arriving on Tues (8/30) building to 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0 ft). Swell continue on Wed (8/31) at up to 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (9/1) from 1.6 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees


New Zealand Gale
A gale developed under New Zealand Sun AM (8/28) producing a broad fetch of 45 kt southwest winds with seas at 32 ft at 56S 158E (in the NCal swell window at 221 degs, in the SCal swell window at 222 degs, and shadowed by NZ relative to HI). In the evening fetch is to be more consolidated but di.cgiaced south some at 45 kts with seas 33 ft at 53.5S 164E (221 degs NCal, 222 degs SCal, still shadowed by New relative to HI). On Mon AM (8/29) southwest winds were aimed more to the northeast and rebuilding some at 45 kts tracking east with seas 35 ft over a broad area at 57S 172E (212 degs NCal and unshadowed, 213 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 195 degs Hl). In the evening the gale was holding while tracking east still producing 40-45 kt winds aimed well to the northeast with seas 37 ft down at 59S 178E (206 degs NCal and in the middle of the shadow, 209 degs SCal and becoming unshadowed, 192 degs HI). On Tues AM (8/30) fetch is to be fading from 35 kts from the southwest pushing east with 31 ft seas at 59S 174W. Swell was radiating northeast towards HI and CA and expected to reach well down into Central America.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on on Wed 9 AM (9/7) with period 20 secs and size tiny and slowly building. Period turning to 18 secs near Thurs 5 AM (9/8). Swell peaking as period hits 17 secs at 3 PM on Thurs at roughly 2.7 ft @ 17 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading but still solid on Fri (9/9) with period 16 secs fading from 15 secs on Sat AM (9/10). Swell Direction: 205-211 degrees

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (9/5) building to 1.6 ft @ 17 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell steady on Tues (9/6) at 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 192-198 degrees

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours low pressure over the Northern Dateline is to weaken while lifting northeast in the the Bering Sea and be all but gone by early Sun (9/4).

For California starting Sat (9/3) high pressure at 1030 mbs is to be 1,000 nmiles north of Hawaii and 1,200 nmiles west of North CA trying to ridge east, but being held off somewhat by a weak Fall low falling south from off Washington while weakening. North winds from the gradient produced by the high are to be at 20+ kts over North and Central CA weakening some on Sun (9/4) to 15 kts over the same area offering only minimal support for windswell development. By Monday the low is to dissipate and the high is to ridge into North CA generating the usual pressure gradient there with north winds 25+ kts generating windswell with a bit of an eddy flow setting up over Central CA then starting to fade on Tues (9/6) with north winds down to 20+ kts limited to North CA with the eddy flow fading too. Windswell fading some.

For Hawaii windswell from trades is to be the least of concern with the two tropical systems front and center. After their passage on Mon (9/5) high pressure is to still be in control north of the Islands generating east trades at 15+ kts sweeping from a point 900 nmiles east of the Islands over Hawaii and generating some windswell then fading in coverage and velocity to barely 15 kts on Tues (9/6) with windswell fading.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

More details to follow...

La Nina Weakens More

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the.cgianet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: The 2014-2016 El Nino is all but gone except for remnants in the upper atmosphere. La Nina is developing but weaker than expected.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Monday (8/29) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific and over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA is on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south). Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific but easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Moderate east anomalies were over the entire KWGA per this model suggestive of the Inactive Phase of the MJO but forecast to slowly weaken but still present a week out on 9/6.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 8/29 a very weak Active Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific. The Statistic model projects it fading in the West Pacific and dissipated 9 days out and turning slightly Inactive into week #2. The dynamic model depicts the Active Phase fading 3 days out an neutral from there to 2 weeks out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/30) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak if not discernible. The forecast projects no change for the next 2 weeks. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (8/30) This model depicts the Active Phase wa weak over the far East equatorial Pacific with an Inactive Pattern developing solidly in the West Pacific. The Active Phase is to dissipate in the east on 9/7 while the Inactive Phase builds in the west tracking east and into Central America on 10/2. A neutral pattern is to set up in the West on 10/4.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern fading and tracking east over the KWGA with no real anomalies in.cgiay. A very weak Inactive Phase is to follow 9/7-10/7 offering no real anomalies either. Then another Active MJO signal is to follow 10/9 -11/26 with a more defined west anomaly wind pattern in the KWGA. Overall the MJO signal is very weak now but is to build as we move into Fall with west anomalies taking firmer control contrary to what one would expect with La Nina in.cgiay. There no suggestion of a major pulse of east anomalies developing in the KWGA.

CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/30) No Change - Actual temperatures are steady in the West Pacific at 30+ degs C (reaching east to 164E) and the 28 deg isotherm line reaching east to only 172W. Cooling has stabilized in the east. Warm anomalies at +1 degs rule from the West Pacific to 170W with weak negative anomalies east of there towards Ecuador. Cool subsurface waters are at depth erupting near 150W. At depth -3 degs anomalies are no longer present down 100 meters at 165W (retreating west). Peak negative temps are -2 degs. The Kelvin Wave pipeline is chocked with cold water rushing east through it. Per the hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/26 depicts a pocket of +1-2 deg anomalies building in the West Pacific to 170W. Cool water -3 degs below normal was under the the equator in pockets, undercutting any residual warm water above it and forming a bubble near 150W and upwelling from 130-150W but also reaching east to Ecuador. La Nina is in control of the ocean at depth, but not strongly so.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (8/29) No Change - The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicates no cool flow present along the coast of Peru with a small pocket off Ecuador. Cooler waters then start building in earnest flowing west from the Galapagos over a thin stream then building in coverage/width near 110W and tracking solidly out to at least 160W with with peak temps -1.0 degs. Cool waters extend north and south from the equator about 8 degrees in the west but have contracted some to 3 degs north and south of the equator recently near and just west of the Galapagos to 115W. La Nina is in control of surface waters, but weak, with remnant El Nino warm water holding in a few small pockets 3 degs north and south of the equator in the east and everywhere north and south of 8N/S. That said, almost no warm water remains anywhere in the Nino regions directly on the equator (5 degs N and S).
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/29): A neutral trend is over waters of Chile and Peru. But a thin warming stream is now extending from Ecuador over the Galapagos. And a warming trend continues from the Galapagos and points westward with a intermixed pockets of warming and cooling water from 120W to 160W. A major warming trend is developing off Africa.
Hi-res Overview:
(8/29) A La Nina cool pool is present in the Central equatorial Pacific 110W to 170W. A thin cool stream is tracking west from the Galapagos but still nonexistent along Ecuador and Peru suggestive of westward di.cgiacement. A generalized pattern of +1-2 deg above normal temps remains 4-8 degs north and south of the equator and west of 180W. Warm water off the Pacific Northwest is streaming over Hawaii looking very much like the classic Active PDO pattern.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/30) Today's temps were trending warmer at +0.916 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (8/30) temps were trending upwards at -0.414 degs. Temps bottomed out recently at -1.0 degs near 7/21-7/26.

Comparing Stongest El Ninos in the last 50 year - ERSSTv4 'centered' data

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (8/30) No Change - Temps are to rise to -0.1 degs in Oct, then fall to -0.3 degs in Dec before starting to rise to neutral in Jan 2017 and up to +0.5 by April and +0.6 by May. This is very interesting.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Aug Plume depicts temps have nearly reached their peak minimum, down at -0.5 to -0.6 by Nov and holding there to Feb, then rising. This is up again from last months peak low temp of -0.7 degs and barely in La Nina territory. See chart here - link. 

Atmospheric Deco.cgiing (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):   
Southern Oscillation Index (8/30): The daily index was up some at +15.29. The 30 day average was down some at +4.42. It transitioned from negative to positive (first time in 2 years) on 5/27. The 90 day average was up some at +3.95, transitioning from negative to positive the first time in years on 7/20. El Nino is gone in all dimensions of the SOI Index now.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (8/30) Today's value was rising some at -0.65. It peaked on 3/12 at +1.57 then fell until 4/14, when it started rising again peaking 4/23 at +1.12. But it has been falling steadily ever since dropping as low as -1.5 in early Aug.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker in July than June (as expected with La NIna setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-July) are: +0.79, +1.23, +1.55, +1.60, +1.43, +0.75 and +0.18.
The Washington EDU index (Jan-July) are: +1.54, +1.75, +2.40, +2.62, +2.35, +2.03 and +1.25.
The PDO turned from a 6 year negative run (2008-2013) in early 2014 and has been positive since then. Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data suggests that could be a real possibility. We've been in the negative phase since 1998 through at least 2013 (15 years). By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

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Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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